Engineer & Entertain

Ideas I grapple with

Imposter of the Sophisticated

            I had the distinct pleasure of viewing Purdue Symphony Orchestra and the Purdue Symphonic Band, of which Elspeth plays astoundingly in, with Kamikaze, Peace, and Polliwog.  While listening to the music and discussing things between, umm, sets I had a few thoughts which are about to be shared:


  • French Horn:  It is essentially the precursor to Guitar Hero.  The players have to rapidly move their hands to various buttons and hit them in combination.  Sure this is no different than other instruments but I have heard this instrument is one of the hardest to learn and after watching the players’ hands it certainly appears difficult.  Unlike guitar hero, there is no star power though you are encouraged to be the star you are.
  • Harpist:  The harp is played while tilting the harp toward the harpist.  It made me wonder how many people have tipped the harp upon themselves or if the base is designed to prevent the harp from tipping to far.
  • Harp:  The harp’s strings are also color coded which made me think about resistors.  The harp is perfect for my 3 watt LED. 
  • Concertmaster:  He is in charge of having everyone tune their instrument to his moments before the performance; however, he appears on stage after everyone and receives copious applause.  While that is a courtesy and honor bestowed upon him for being such a fantastic player I do not award points for showing up late.  If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; and if you’re late, you’re unacceptable.  You should be there with the rest of the players so you can tune your instruments sooner. 
  • Resonance:  While the players tuned their instruments I kept thinking about resonance frequency.  It made me wish I had a scale model of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
  • While at a symphony you are discouraged to yell “Free bird”, hold a lighter up and sway your hands, bounce a beach ball amongst the audience, or expect an inflatable pig to be launched.  It is perfectly ok to bet your friend twenty dollars to get a wave started. 
    • If the wave does get started and people are discouraging of it; state the tuning was at the correct resonance frequency to cause you to do the wave.

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6 thoughts on “Imposter of the Sophisticated

  1. …So *that* is what Benji was taking all of these notes about during the performance(s)!

    (Also, for the record, talking about how amazing french horn players are is somewhat equivocal to whispering sweet nothings in my ear.)

    • Despite having an amazing memory I am sadly fallible therefore I make notes to self. You may want to make sure T. Rex will know about the French Horn thing. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

  2. Color coded strings? Cheaters.

    Also, I prefer to whisper sweet (substantial) things in Jenny’s ear.

  3. The Monies

    So wait, do you owe me some $20 that I was unaware of? Because I’m pretty sure that I got that wave started. 😉

    • Re: The Monies

      A wave consisting of four people is hardly remarkable when there was an auditorium full of people. A majority of the people in the conservatory would be requisite for me to pay you. Better luck next time.

      • Re: The Monies

        I simply didn’t remember us wagering at all. Next time I’ll make sure my polite mini-wave ripples out more if I know there’s gonna be some cash in it for me.

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